Ma Tau Wai lanes closed for new MTR link
Despite the closure of half its lanes, traffic flow along Ma Tau Wai Road was generally smooth on Monday morning, the first working day since the lane closures began for subway construction.
The traffic interruption, along a 300-metre stretch of the busy road between Kowloon City and Hung Hom, will continue for four years while an underground station is built for the Sha Tin to Central rail link.
Commuters going to work on Monday morning said they left home 10 to 30 minutes earlier than usual. Dozens of MTR staff were deployed along the road to answer bus passengers’ inquiries and direct them to new bus stop locations.
Three of the six lanes, between Chi Kiang Street and Sheung Heung Road, have been closed since Sunday.
Two to three lanes will be closed at any one time over the next four years, for the three-stage construction project. The current arrangement, in which some bus and minibus stops have been moved, will last for one year.
Signboards and electronic boards were placed along the road to encourage drivers to take alternative routes, while MTR staff distributed leaflets about the changes to bus travellers. Notices and maps were posted at the original bus stops directing passengers to the new stops.
One elderly woman surnamed Leung said she was confused about the new arrangements, although the minibus she was taking to Mong Kok was not affected. “I don’t understand the new arrangements,” said the woman in her 80s, who has lived in the area for 40 years. “I’ve lost my direction.”
Louis Yue, who was heading to Causeway Bay for work, said he left home 30 minutes earlier than usual. The queue at the station near To Kwa Wan Market and Government Offices was normal, and he found the arrangements acceptable, he said.